david santistevan


Practical Pointers for Bass

I have a bass joke I like to throw around (please don’t get offended).

Bass players are guitar players who never applied themselves.

Such a statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Well, it may be true for some, but a true bass player is of such importance to a band. Bass is what gives music its punch, power, and deep feeling. A bass player may not get noticed as much as a drummer or a lead guitarist, but without the bass, those other guys don’t sound very good.

  • Work on a deep, thick tone. Many amateur bass players simply plug in and go. Take some time and refine the sound you’re looking for. A deep, penetrating bass tone is wonderful.
  • Lock in with the drummer. This is of paramount importance. It baffles me when I see a bass player and a drummer ignoring what the other is doing. My brothers and sisters, this cannot be. While the bass guitar and kick drum don’t have to play the exact thing all the time, be sure and establish the groove of the song.
  • Less is more, but play melodically. I love it when bass players have a knack for melody. They don’t just play notes, they play lines that speak. Be simple most of the time but add creative melodic lines to your grooves.
  • Feel it. The best bass players I’ve seen look like they are writhing in pain when they play. That is to say, they are feeling the groove. Engage your whole body in what you are playing. You don’t have to look stupid, but great stage presence is central to great playing.

Any added thoughts?


December 4, 2008 - Posted by | Band, Worship

1 Comment »

  1. […] with the bass ‘dropping out’ occasionally (Btw, visit my friend Rob’s site for […]

    Pingback by 10 Tips For Great Arranging « david santistevan | November 16, 2010 | Reply

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